A week had passed since she said goodbye to Aamin at Heathrow. During that time, she hadn’t been able to stop thinking about Merrick until finally, she decided she would call him that morning or go completely out of her mind.
She rushed into the bedroom, dug her hand bag out of the closet, retrieved her wallet where the card was. Clutching it tightly in her hand, she returned to the living-room, picked up the receiver and dialed the number.
He answered on the second ring. “Hello, Adaeze.” He sounded very pleased to hear from her.
“Hello,” she replied, sounding a tad breathless. She attributed it to the rushing about. “Are you still interested in having that drink?”
“Of course, I am. Do you know American Bar?”
“I’ve heard of it.”
“Meet me outside at 7 this evening.”
“All right. I’ll be there at 7.”
“Good. I’m really looking forward to seeing you, Adaeze.”
She hung up the phone. Now what was she going to wear? And what to do about her hair? Right now, it was a mess. She went into the bedroom, put his card back in the wallet. She spent the next several minutes, going through her wardrobe for something to wear. Hours later, she settled on a black V-neck top with three-quarter sleeves, a knee length plaid pencil skirt and knee length boots. Her hair was swept back in a French knot. A touch of lip gloss was all the color she needed on her face. After inspecting herself in the mirror, she grabbed her handbag and went down to the lobby to wait for the taxi.
When she arrived at American Bar, Merrick was already there, waiting for her. Her heart skipped a beat when she saw him. Tall and gorgeous in the crisp and expensive looking white shirt and black trousers which hugged his muscular thighs. His eyes traveled over her as she walked towards him and she could tell that he liked what he saw. “Good evening,” she said when she reached him. He smelled really good.
“Good evening.” He turned and pushed open the door. They went inside, found a table and sat down. They ordered their drinks.
“I’m happy you finally called me. Ever since we met, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about you and wanting to see you again.”
The way he was looking at her made her mouth go dry and her heart beat faster. She dragged her eyes away from him and looked around. The ambience was classy and cozy. The dress code was smart casual. “This is a very nice bar.”
“It’s the longest surviving cocktail bar in London and one of the most renowned in the world. Apparently, Winston Churchill and Ernest Hemingway have been here.”
“Yes.” He rested his left arm on the table and propped his head up with his right, his eyes fixated on her. “I thought it would be the perfect place for us to have drinks.”
“So, you’ve been here before?”
“Yes, with a couple of friends.”
“I think Chioma and Dushan would love to come here one evening.”
“Who are they?”
“My older sister and her husband.”
“Have they been married long?”
“No. They were married on April 17.”
“What about you and your boyfriend? How long have you been dating?”
“For less than a year. We met the day after Chioma and Dushan met.”
“Does he know that you’re having a drink with me?”
“No. Besides, he isn’t here in London.”
“Where is he?”
“That’s where he’s from. He returned last week after getting a job he applied for.”
“Do you plan on joining him at a later time?”
“No. My life is here in London.”
“So, is it over between you and him?”
“Yes. We both felt that a long distance relationship wasn’t for us.”
“Well, I’m happy that you didn’t move to Dubai.”
“It would have been a mistake for me to do that.”
He looked at her intently. “You mentioned that your life is here in London.”
Her heartbeat began to accelerate. “Yes.”
“I hope that your life will include me too.”
Their alcoholic free cocktails arrived just then. Hers was The Peachy Life and his was the Smoked Sour. She raised her glass. “Shall we make a toast?”
“Sure. What are we celebrating? The fact that you’re a free woman?”
“The fact that I’m going to be an aunt.”
He raised his glass. “Congratulations.”
They touched their glasses and drank. “Mmm. This is very delicious.”
“Tell me about yourself, Adaeze. I want to know everything about you.”
She stared at him. “You want to know everything about me?”
“Yes. Right now all I know is the you’re the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen. You’re the best mechanic I’ve ever had fix my car, you have an older sister and that you’re going to be an aunt. It’s a start but I want to know more about you.”
“All right.” Over more alcohol free cocktails and a shared small plate of Avocado Cigars, she told him about herself. He sat there, riveted.
It was near midnight when they left the bar. On the way dropping her home, he asked her to have dinner with him the following night. Without any hesitation, she accepted.
Source: Suitcase Magazine